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Obama: Economy to Get Worse Before Better

  • VOA News

President-elect Barack Obama says the U.S. economy is going to get even worse before it gets better.

In a television interview broadcast on Sunday on NBC's Meet the Press, Mr. Obama called the country's two million lost jobs and the fragility of the international financial system a "big problem."

The president-elect said one of his first priorities when he takes office January 20th will be to push ahead with major infrastructure projects to create jobs.

He said that would help the U.S economy in the short-term and would be a "down payment" for long-term growth.

Mr. Obama also said the government should not allow the ailing U.S. auto industry to collapse. But he said the government should not run the auto companies, and that any assistance should come with conditions to make the manufacturers build fuel-efficient cars.

U.S. Democratic Senator Carl Levin said in an interview on Fox News on Sunday he is confident the White House and Congress will reach a deal on an auto aid package in the next several days. But he said he does not know whether the Democrats, who control Congress, have enough votes to pass the plan.

The auto industry is a key part of the U.S. manufacturing sector, which makes up nearly one-fifth of the world's largest economy.

The economic crisis was triggered earlier this year by a housing crisis in the United States that destabilized the U.S. financial system and caused chaos in economies throughout the world.

Mr. Obama said in his interview that U.S. banks need to renegotiate the terms of home loans (mortgages) so that people are better able to pay off their debts and stay in their houses.

He said relieving the stress of the housing crisis will be better for banks, the community and the economy.

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